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Full text of "Conversations between a mother and daughter, on the education of the deaf and dumb"

I 

(b^l.^VNTERSATIONS 

I Oj^'V-^ BETWEEN A ! 

t AND DAUGHTER, 












SI 







ON THE EDUCATION 



OF THE 



DEAF AND DUMB. 



" No voice maternal soothed their infant hours, 
Or woke by prattled love their thinking powers ; 
Shut out for ever from the realms of sound, 
With them the countless moving lips around 
Hold no communion ; for beyond their reach, 
Are all the social blandishments of speech, 
All that to hearing can be told or 6ung, 
When the heart's music modulates the tongue." 






DERBY: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY 

HENRY MOZLEY AND SONS. 

1840. 







CONVERSATIONS 



BETWEEN A 



MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, 



ON THE EDUCATION 



OF THE 



DEAF AND DUMB. 



c< No voice maternal soothed their infant hours, 
Or woke by prat tled lyv^ tfoar {ftinkirnr powers; 
Shut out foj^grefom the-repta^ ^ 
Witht>e1n^e1^fifte^ 
HoUJmo ^plmunion ; for beyond their 9&ch f 
Ang all the social blandishments of speech, 
il that to hearing can be told or sung, 
[henjthe hea¥t9nTrarmmrolar^^ 

DERBY: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY 

HENRY MOZLEY AND SONS. 

1840. 



CONVERSATIONS 



BETWEEN A 



MOTHER AND DAUGHTER. 



The Village of C is a very lovely 

place, situate on the banks of the river 
Witham, in one of the eastern counties of 

England. C contains a very pretty 

little church, surrounded by trees, and 
standing on the top of a hill. At the foot 
of the hill is a neat Parsonage-house, in 
the middle of a good-sized and fragrant 
garden. The garden, though not crowded 
with trees, yet contains several fine old 
elms, under the shade of which it is the 
delight of the inhabitants of the Parsonage 
to sit together in fine weather at their va- 
rious occupations. 

Mr, and Mrs. M , and three agree- 
able children, (two boys, and a girl,) the 
eldest being about twelve, and the young- 
est, whose name was Louisa, not yet eight, 
were the inhabitants of this peaceful dwell- 
ing at the time at which our narrative 

begins. Mrs. M generally walked out 

with her little family every day, and some- 
times the pleasure of the walk was in- 



4 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

creased by some tale or story from real 

life, in which Mrs. M endeavoured to 

blend amusement with instruction, and to 
make her children think less of themselves, 
and take an interest in the welfare of their 
fellow-creatures. This excellent lady might 
in truth be styled " the good mother." She 
took great delight in the company of her 
children, the turn of whose minds, and 
their tendency to good or evil, she carefully 
watched. This village contains several 
rows of houses, which the villagers are 
pleased to call streets; and indeed the 
village itself, according to them, is a town, 
though not containing, at the most more 
than three hundred inhabitants. It was in 
one of these so called streets, that Mrs. 
M and her little girl, one fine sum- 
mer's evening, met poor Richard Watson 
coming towards them ; and it was the sight 
of this pitiable object, the inhabitant of a 
neighbouring village, that gave rise to the 
following conversations. 



FIRST CONVERSATION. 

Louisa. — Oh, mamma! do look at that 
man, how he is throwing his arms about! 
and what a noise he is making with his 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 5 

mouth wide open ! he looks as if he were 
silly ! Is he an idiot? 

Mother. — No, my dear, he is not an 
idiot; though his actions often make him 
appear such. That poor man is deaf and 
dumb, and the drunkards in their folly and 
cruelty, give him drink till he has lost his 
reason, and then he dances to make them 
amusement* 

Louisa. — Deaf and dumb ! mamma, what 
is that? Is it not for the deaf and dumb 
that my cousin Ellen collects? She asked 
me, in a hurry, to give her a halfpenny the 
other day. It was for the deaf and dumb, 
she said ; though I do not know what she 
meant by that; and so I could not tell 
what my halfpenny was for. 

Mother. — As we have plenty of time be- 

* This is also the wretched case with " a woman of a for- 
lorn and singular appearance, who is not uncommonly accom- 
panied, in the streets of a town in Wiltshire, by a little ragged 
child. This woman is deaf and dumb, and the mother of two 
unfortunate children. She has never had access to that in- 
struction which those around her may obtain with compara- 
tive facility, nor has she been sent to any School for the Deaf 
and Dumb She now appears impenetrable to all advice and 
reproof, and leads a notoriously wicked life. It is her constant 
habit to wander about the town, sometimes exposing her 
vicious practices to the face of day, and making, it is to be 
feared, her two unfortunate children, frequent witnesses of 
them, how nainful the reflection, that, in all human proba- 
bility, she will continue the servant of Satan to the end of her 
ltfe ! She has grown up to womanhood in sin, and is incapa- 
ble of being apprised or the danger of it, or of learning (if she 
were willing to forsake it,) from whence to obtain help and 
pardon." 



6 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

fore dinner, we will, if you like, extend our 
walk a little further than I at first intended, 
and I will take this opportunity of explain- 
ing to you for what it is your cousin col- 
lects ; what use is made of the money ; and 
what I mean by saying, that unfortunate 
man is deaf and dumb. 

Louisa. — Oh, do ! I shall like that very 
much ; for I have promised to give Ellen a 
halfpenny every now and then to add to 
her collection; and I shall have much 
more pleasure in giving it, when I know 
what it is for. 

Mother.— -The poor man we saw just now 
was born totally deaf; and in consequence 
of being deaf he is dumb* 

Louisa. — But I suppose he is not quite 
so deaf as to be unable to hear the tre- 
mendous claps of thunder that make me 
tremble sometimes ? 

Mother. — Dick is perfectly incapable of 
hearing any sound. " The gentle whisper 
of affection, and the loud rolling of the 
thunder, are alike unknown to him; he 
stands unmoved even at that mighty noise 
at which the earth and depths are troubled." 

Louisa. — Poor fellow, how much I pity 
him ! Then he has never heard the delight- 
ful sound that we do now of the birds 
singing sweetly in the trees. He has never 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 7 

had the pleasure I enjoy so much, of hear- 
ing his mother's voice, telling him how 
much she loves her child. He has never 
heard her pray to God to forgive him when 
he has done wrong. 

Mother. — I am glad you feel for him, 
dear child ; for he is indeed to be pitied. 

Louisa. — But, mamma, why should he 
be dumb ? If he is deaf he need not be 
dumb ! 

Mother. — But what language would you 
have him speak? French, or English, or 
German, or what ? 

Louisa. — The language his parents speak, 
certainly, mamma. 

Mother. — But if he has never heard any 
one speak, how can he learn any language ? 
If he has never heard any human sounds, 
how is he to imitate them ? 

Louisa. — Then, mamma, as he cannot 
speak, how does he make his wants known? 

Mother. — By various signs; and even 
this method of communication is not always 
understood by those around him. 

Louisa. — Are there any other unfortu- 
nate persons like this young man, mamma ? 

Mother.— Yes, indeed there are. I am 
sorry to say, the case of Richard Watson 
is by no means a solitary one; for there 
are many thousands of poor unfortunate 



8 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

people in the world, who like him are born 
incapable of hearing and consequently of 
speaking. 

Louisa. — Indeed, mamma! I could not 
have thought it! Many thousands born 
deaf and dumb ! Why I have never seen 
them, — I have never heard of them ! 

Mother. — No ; I have never seen them, 
though I have heard of them. I fear that 
it is but too little known in the world that 
there are so many. 

Louisa. — But, mamma, what makes you 
think that people in general do not know 
how many deaf and dumb there are ? 

Mother. — Because " there is nothing in 
the features of the deaf and dumb indica- 
tive of the defect under which they labour : 
their cheek is as ruddy, and their eye as 
bright, as any of their more favoured fellow- 
creatures : they guide themselves, and walk 
like others/' and hence those around them 
are not aware that they are wanting in one 
of the most important of the five senses. 

Louisa.— You mean the sense of hearing, 
do not you, mamma ? 

Mother. — Yes, I do. To prove the truth 
of my assertion, I will tell you the follow- 
ing short story. 

A gentleman stated at a meeting one day 
in Ireland that at another meeting which 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 9 

he attended somewhere else, the clergy of 
the latter place insisted that there were no 
deaf and dumb in that town. The gentle- 
man said, the same had been told him in 
many places, but that he always discovered 
some ; however they in the strongest man- 
ner kept asserting the impossibility of the 
thing in the present instance, as there was 
not a family in the town, or neighbour- 
hood, with all the individuals of which 
they were not acquainted ; and so strongly 
were they convinced they were right, that 
one of them appealed to the meeting to 
confirm his assertion, that there could not 
be a deaf mute in that place without his 
knowledge. 

Must he not have been very much aston- 
ished, Louisa, when he was answered, 
" Oh, sir, here is a woman lives close by 
your house, and has brought her deaf and 
dumb daughter here with her/' And must 
he not have been still more so, when another 
person cried out, " And there is another 
woman, named Fitzpatrick, has a deaf and 
dumb girl, about half a mile off." 

Louisa. — Oh, mamma, I should think 
the clergyman must have looked very much 
surprised, and ashamed. 

Mother. — I dare say he did ; though his 
mistake was far from being an uncommon 



10 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

one. The same gentleman who related 
this fact says, that " during a tour through 
eighteen towns in the north of Ireland, in 
the same year, he discovered many deaf 
and dumb children, whose existence was 
hitherto unknown to the committee of the 
Juvenile Deaf and Dumb Society." 

Louisa. — Thank you, mamma, for your 
little story ; it is a very interesting one. 

Mother. — I was going to tell you before 
you proposed your last question, that it 
is for the purpose of having the unfortunate 
beings, or at least a part of them, instruct- 
ed, that your cousin collects money. 

Louisa. — Then they can be taught ! 
Come, that will comfort me a little; for I 
was beginning to think how badly off they 
must be ; for as they can neither hear nor 
speak, I wonder how they can learn any 
thing. 

Mother.— It is a happiness for which we 
cannot be too thankful, that there are 
means of instructing them, in their duty to 
God and man. 

Louisa. — But must it not be very difficult 
to teach them, mamma? 

Mother. — Yes, difficult doubtless it is, and 
requires much labour and patience, on the 
part of the teacher, before he can have the 
pleasure of perceiving that his pupils are 
beginning to gain a little light 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 11 

Louisa.— But where do they go to be 
taught; for I have never heard of any 
school for the deaf and dumb. 

Mother. — There are fifteen Institutions* 
or Schools in the United Kingdom, where 
some few, comparatively speaking, are sent 
to be taught Here they learn that there is a 
great and good God, who created them, 
who gave his Son to die for them, who will 
give them his Holy Spirit that they may 
love and obey Him, and be made fit for 
Eternal Happiness in Heaven.t 

Louisa. — What else do they learn, mam- 
ma? I mean, do they learn any lessons 
such as other children do ? 

* Viz. One at Edinburgh, Paisley, Glasgow, Aberdeen, 
Perth, Dundee, Dublin, Cork, Belfast, London, Birmingham, 
Exeter, Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster. 

t A professed Infidel, one day told Mr. Charles Stokes Dud- 
ley, (Agent of the Bible Society) that he could not believe it 
possible to teach the deaf and dumb the principles of the 
Christian religion. Mr. Dudley took him the next day to the 
Asylum, and requested the first class might be sent to him. 
Mr. Dudley told him the method of their communication was 
by writing on the wall, and begged him to write any question 
he chose to propose, to one of the boys. The Infidel wrote 
" Who made the world and all things in it V* The little boy 
immediately wrote underneath—" In the beginning God cre- 
ated the Heavens and the Earth." The Infidel. " Why did 
God send Jesus Christ into the world ?" " God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be- 
lieveth on Him, should have eternal life*" Infidel* " If God 
so loved his Creatures, wfrr did he make such a difference as 
to give me the faculty of Speech and Hearing, whilst you are 
Deaf and Dumb ?" The Bale bay with looks full of love, and 
resignation, directly wrote, " Even so, Father, for so it seem- 
eth good in thy signk" 



12 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

Mother.— Oh yes, they learn reading, 
writing, geography, arithmetic, drawing, 
&c. and the use of signs, in the place of 
language, by which to make themselves 
understood by their Instructers, and by 
each other. They are also taught many 
other things which will enable them to be 
useful members of society, and put them 
in the way of maintaining themselves in a 
creditable manner, after they leave the 
Institution. 

Louisa. — Oh, mamma, how much better 
than being dependant on the earnings of 
their parents, who perhaps, have hardly 
enough for themselves. 

Mother.— But this is not the only advan- 
tage to be thought of, which they are happy 
in possessing, and which poor Richard 
Watson cannot obtain. You seem to for- 
get the religious advantages the inmates of 
these Institutions enjoy; — and that they 
are made acquainted with that book, which 
will make them " wise unto salvation/* 

Louisa. — Then, mamma, if there are 
places where the deaf and dumb can go to 
be taught, why was not this unfortunate 
man sent to one of them ? 

Mother. — Doubtless his friends have 
never heard of such Institutions. And 
perhaps like many others in his deplorable 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 13 

circumstances, his nearest relations, and 
friends thought that he was an idiot, and 
so did not trouble themselves with in- 
quiring how to have him taught. But 
supposing they did know of places where 
such unfortunate children can be taught, 
and had applied to gain admittance for 
him into one of them, they might have 
shared the sorrowful fate of many other 
parents, who cannot succeed in gaining 
this charity for their children. They could 
not afford to pay for his going to one of 
these Institutions themselves, and so they 
would have been under the necessity of 
seeing their poor child live and die in ig- 
norance of those truths, whereby he might 
have been made wise through faith unto 
salvation. 

LoweVa.— Then, mamma, who does pay 
for the education of the children of the 
poor ? Is it for this that Ellen is collecting 
money ? 

Mother. — Different charitable people give 
money, or subscriptions, every year to the 
Institutions, which enable them to bestow 
on some of the many children, whose 
parents are not rich enough to afford so 
great an expense themselves, the blessing 
of being brought out of the state of dark- 
ness and ignorance, in which they have 



14 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

formerly lived, to one equal to that of 
their fellow-creatures, 

Louisa. — How delightful to hear that 
there are means of instructing these poor 
children ! though it is sad to think that 
this benefit cannot be enjoyed by them all. 

Mother. — Yes, indeed, it is a sad pity. 
And the truth is, that a great deal more 
money might be spared for this and other 
charitable purposes, if people would not 
spend so much more than they need on 
themselves, on their "purple and linen, 
and sumptuous fare," and gaudy furniture. 

Louisa. — But, mamma, is there no other 
way of teaching the deaf and dumb, than 
this, which seems to cost so much money ? 

Mother. — Generally speaking, there is 
not: though I have heard of one or two 
persons who have educated a deaf and 
dumb child themselves. One of them is 
" Charlotte Elizabeth," who wrote that 
little book of poetry of which you are so 
fond. 

Louisa.— What, mamma, do you mean 
the " Grandfather's tales ?" 

Mother.— I do. This highly gifted lady 
instructed a little Irish deaf and dumb 
boy, entirely herself When he died, she 
wrote a little book about him, entitled 
" The Happy Mute," which I hope you 
will read some day. 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 15 

Louisa. — Is it entertaining, mamma ? 

Mother. — It is deeply interesting; and 
if you like, I will buy it for you. It only 
costs sixpence, and I hope, when you have 
it, you will lend it to any body that would 
like to read it. 

Louisa* — Oh, thank you, mamma, I 
shall be much pleased to lend it, I am sure. 
But I was going to ask how many deaf and 
dumb do you think there are in the world ? 

Mother. — I do not know how many there 
are in the world; but the Deaf Mutes in 
England, were said to be, in the year 1835, 
about twelve thousand, and of these only 
six hundred are being educated. Is not 
the thought afflictive that the rest will go 
down to the grave without one glimmering 
of the hope of immortality to cheer and 
comfort them on their death-beds.* Oh, 
Louisa, who, when they think of this, 
would not deny themselves a few of the 
superfluities, and luxuries of life, in order 
that they may have the more to give 
towards redeeming ewe fellow-creature from 
mental darkness, and misery, 

* The following sentences are extracted from the letters of a 
deaf and dumb child, giving an account of the death of two of 
her school-fellows. 

" He said to Mr. , ' My body is weak, but my soul is 

strong/ On being asked, * Are not you mildly punished? 1 He 
answered, * Very much so.' n 

" I asked her, * Do you trust in Jesus Christ who died on 
the cross for our sins V she answered, * Yes.' We convened 
(by signs) with each other about Religion." 



16 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

Louisa. — Oh, mamma, I am so pleased to 
think of my promise to Ellen, though it is 
like nothing compared with what is wanted. 
I think in future instead of giving her a 
halfpenny every now and then, I will give 
her all the halfpennies I can earn for my 
lessons, or in any other way, instead of 
spending them as soon I get them, on bar- 
ley-sugar, and other trifles. 

Mother. — I hope you will be enabled to 
adhere to so good a resolution, my dear 
child ; for people must not content them- 
selves with saying, " Oh, how sorry I am 
for them;" "Oh, how much I feel for 
them, poor things !" They must do some- 
thing to shew it; to prove the truth of 
what they say. If they cannot otherwise 
spare their money, they must, as I before 
said, see whether there is not something 
they can do without, in order " that they 
may have to give to him that needeth." 

Louisa. — Mamma, what you have just 
said puts me in mind of a story I once 
heard. May I tell it to you ? 

Mother* — Do, my dear, for it is quite 
your turn to. tell me something. 

Louisa. — There was a good Quaker who, 
when he heard others making a lamentation 
about a poor man who was in debt, and 
saying how they pitied, and felt for him 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 17 

said, " Well, friends, I know not how much 
you feel, but I feel," — and he put his hand 
in his pockets ! " fifty pounds for him/' 

Mother. — Thank you, Louisa : your story 
is very much to the purpose. I wish others 
would feel for the deaf and dumb as this 
good Quaker did for the debtor. 

But Louisa, I hope you will not only 
show how much you feel for them, by keep- 
ing your own pence for their good, but that 
you will tell other little children about 
them, and try to persuade them also to be- 
stow some of their small allowances on so 
good a cause, instead of on number ONE. 
You know your cousin Ellen is delighted 
to receive the smallest sum any one will 
bestow on her. Even so small a sum as a 
halfpenny a week, of which she has several 
subscribers, come to something at the end 
of the year. But there are some who give 
even less than this. 

Louisa.— Indeed, mamma; less than a 
halfpenny a week! Then I need not be 
ashamed of my halfpenny. 

Mother. — By no means, my dear: for 
like the widow's mite, it is as much for 
you to give, as a larger sum is for those who 
give out of their abundance. 

Louisa, — But, mamma, I should think 
Ellen could not get a great deal of money, 
if she has only penny subscribers. 



18 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

Mather.— Perhaps she cannot obtain much 
in any way, as she lives in so retired a 
place. But there has been as much as three 
hundred and seventy pounds collected by 
penny donations only — that is, you know, 
by single pennies given once and not again 
— for the Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb 
School : and a lady in ■ collected by the 
same simple means for another charitable 
purpose the enormous sum of one thousand 
five hundred pounds. 

Louisa. — That is really a great deal of 
money, mamma, to be gathered together, 
by pennies. I think, if you will let me, I 
will try and see how many pennies I can 
beg from people who come to the house, 
and when I go out with you, 

Mother. — You are quite welcome to try, 
dear ; and I wish you all success. I dare 
say many good-natured persons will give to 
you — a little child — for the sake of pleasing 
you, that which they would not give to an 
older person. 

If you like to remind me, in our walk to- 
morrow, I will tell you an anecdote about 
the deaf and dumb boy whom Charlotte 
Elizabeth educated, and we can pursue the 
subject of our present conversation. 

But who are these coming across the 
field, are they not papa, and your brothers ? 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 19 

Let us go to meet them, and ask them how 
they " feel for the deaf and dumb." 



SECOND CONVERSATION. 

The next time Mrs. M and Louisa 

were walking out together, the latter re- 
minded her mother of the promise she had 
made her, and also begged for the anecdote 
of Charlotte Elizabeth's deaf and dumb 

boy. 

Mother. — It is a very short one. I am 
afraid you will not find it so interesting as 
you expected. But, however, to keep my 
word, I will tell it you. 

One day, when this little boy had lived 
four years with his Instructress, he was sent 
to a gentleman's house on an errand. With 
the concurrence of his kind mistress he had 
resolved never to taste strong drink of any 
kind ; so when one of the young gentlemen 
of the house offered him a glass of wine, he 
refused it. The youth then attempted to 
pour it down his throat, but did not sue* 
ceed ; the deaf and dumb boy seemed glad 
that the wine ran down upon his clothes, 
though it spoilt a very pretty waistcoat; 
rather than drink that* lie had promised not 
to drink, " and make God angry/* 



20 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

Louisa. — Well done ! What a brave good 
little boy. I must tell this story to my 
brothers. Do you know any more like it, 
mamma ? 

Mother. — There is one more, I have just 
thought of. 

" A deaf and dumb boy, thirteen years of 
age, educated at Edinburgh, went with his 
benefactor, after an absence of four years, 
to visit his mother. He found her sitting 
in a state of intoxication, at which he was 
much distressed. He took out a paper and 
pencil, and endeavoured to shew her the 
danger of her way, and gave her much ex- 
cellent advice. He then accompanied his 
friend to his house. Some time after, tears 
were observed trickling down his cheeks, 
and on being asked what was the matter, 
he replied, ' That he was thinking, if he 
got to heaven, how unhappy he would be, 
if his mother was not there/ " 

Louisa. — Poor little boy; how much I 
pity him ! I am not surprised at his being 
so grieved for the state of his mother, if he 
knew that text which says that no drunkard 
shall inherit eternal life. 

Mother. — I will now tell you another 
little story. 

There was a deaf and dumb boy who had 
a good elder sister, who took great pains to 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 21 

instruct him in the best manner she was 
able* She regularly took him to church, 
and also taught him to behave well. His 
sister did not think that because he was 
deaf and dumb, and could not understand 
what was passing, he might behave as he 
liked, and be continually staring about 
him. 

When this little boy's father died, and 
was laid in his coffin, the child went up to 
his corpse, and felt his face all over, and 
when the lid of the coffin was nailed down, 
he screamed and cried most piteously. 

Louisa. — But if his father's death had not 
taken place till the child had been properly 
instructed, he would then have known, 
would he not, that it was only the lifeless 
body of his father which they put in the 
ground, and that there was no feeling left 
in it? 

Mother. — Yes, and that his soul, we may 
hope, was happy with God; and that he 
might, perhaps, at some future time meet 
him in heaven. But there is one thing 
more I will tell you about him. His mother 
used to make him kneel down at the side 
of his bed every night and morning: but 
this was only an empty form ; he knew not 
the meaning of what he did- One time 
when his mother was very ill, he prayed to 



22 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

the stars to make her better ; and when he 
found she did not get well, he " threw 
stones at them to punish them." This he 
afterwards told his friends when he had 
learnt how to communicate his thoughts to 
them. 

Louisa.— How strange it appears to me, 
who have been taught better, to hear of any 
one's praying to the stars ! 

Mother. — I will give you another instance 
of deaf and dumb children praying to the 
stars, or to the heavens. 

There was a young lady,— horn without 
the sense of hearing — who before her in- 
struction was completed, one fine night 
wanted her instructor to join with her and 
worship the sky. Her teacher " found that 
although she knew there was a Supreme 
Being, yet when her mother used to make 
her join her hands together in prayer, she 
thought she must be praying to the stars, 
and to the heavens, for there was nothing 
else above her, and she could not under- 
stand how she could be praying to God, 
when she did not see Him/' Another poor 
child says that " before she went to an In- 
stitution she used to pray to a wonderful 
man who, she thought, sat in the sky on a 
throne; and when it rained, she used to 
think that a man with long grey hair, was 



OP THE DEAF AND DUMB. 23 

pouring water out of a large tub from hea- 
ven, on the ground," 

Louisa. — Mamma, I cannot understand 
how these children prayed before they were 
taught. If they know no language, how 
can they pray in words, and yet I can think 
of no other method in which they can ex- 
press their desires. 

Mother. — I can only tell you, that the 
little boy who prayed to the stars, says, he 
" prayed with his heart, for he knew not 
the language of words/' He must have 
prayed in a way with which we are unac- 
quainted. I think these anecdotes give 
some idea how little the deaf and dumb 
understand, before they are educated, of the 
many things passing around them, and this 
often distresses them greatly. 

Louisa. — Mamma, do these children ever 
show, before they have been instructed, that 
they are aware they are different from any 
other children? and do they ever seem 
desirous of being taught? 

Mot her.— -You shall judge for yourself, 
from the following anecdote. 

There was a little boy, deaf and dumb, 
who, when he saw his brothers and sisters 
going to school, attempted to fellow them. 
He took a book and opened it upside down, 
to show he could not read it. He then put 



24 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

it under his arm, as if to go out, but his 
father would not permit him ; and told his 
poor boy, by signs, that he could never 
learn anything, because he was deaf and 
dumb. He was so vexed, that putting his 
fingers in his ears, he demanded of his 
father to have them cured. His father told 
him there was no remedy. He then, with- 
out its being known, quitted the house, and 
went to school. He begged the master 
with signs y to teach him to read and write, 
but the master refused, and drove him 
away, which made him cry very much. 

Lottwa.— Poor little boy ! how could any 
one behave so unkindly to a poor deaf and 
dumb child. Really I think the school- 
master must have had a very hard heart. 
I think if I had been in his place, I should 
have done my best to teach him, even if no 
one had paid me for it. But can you tell 
me, mamma, what became of him after- 
wards ; and whether he ever learnt to read ; 
or was sent to an Institution ? 

Mother. — After his bad success with the 
schoolmaster, " he often attempted alone to 
form with the pen writing signs." Now 
comes an answer to your question, Louisa. 
One day, when he was about twelve years 
old, as he was watching a flock, a gentle- 
man who saw him, took a liking to him. 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB* 25 

" Afterwards, this gentleman, with the con- 
sent of his parents, sent him to Bordeaux, 
which is in France, to the good Abbe 
Sicard, to have him educated/* 

Louisa. — Mamma, can you tell me who 
it was who found out that the deaf and 
dumb could be taught, and who was the 
first teacher? 

Mother. — I have read that " the first suc- 
cessful efforts towards the instruction of the 
deaf and dumb began in Spain, about three 
hundred years ago, by Father Ponce, a 
Jesuit, and were limited to three individuals, 
the children of the great Constable of Spain. 
The art died with him. The Spaniard 
Bonnet, Doctor Wallis, the Swiss Doctor 
Amman, the Scotch Braidwood, the Saxon 
Heinicke, and more than all the Portuguese 
Pereyra succeeded him; they were more 
or less successful, with one, two or three 
pupils each. Pereyra's two pupils have 
perhaps never been surpassed by any 
modern Instructer, for one of them was a 
great Philosopher, well versed in twelve 
languages ; but the ' Abbe de TEpee is 
considered by many to be the originater of 
Schools for the Deaf and Dumb children of 
the poor, and he maintained forty children 
at his own expense/ The Abbe Sicard, to 
whom this little boy was sent, was the suc- 
cessor of the Abbe de l'Epee." 



26 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 

Louisa.— How long is it since the last 
named good Abbe lived, mamma ? 

Mother. — I do not know whether this ex- 
cellent man was engaged in the instruction 
of his deaf and dumb pupils at the time of 
his death, which took place at Paris, in the 

year 1790. 

Louisa. — How very much I wish, that 
the Institutions could afford to take in, not 
only all that offer themselves, but every 
Deaf and Dumb child in the world. 

Mother. — That would be delightful in- 
deed. Do you know, Louisa, that these 
poor children are too often taken for idiots 
by their parents, or those who have the 
charge of them ; who, not being able always 
to understand their means of communica- 
tion, grow angry, and impatient with them, 
and treat them harshly and unkindly. 

Louisa. — Mamma, 1 hope those who are 
instructed are very thankful for it. 

Mother. — All those I have ever met with 
are so. 

An interesting deaf and dumb youth of 
seventeen years of age says, in a letter to a 
friend, " — At last I am instructed ; I must 
thank God." — " I can now think well ; 1 
am like a man; but before, I was like > a 
beast" 

Louisa. — Think of his comparing himself 
to a beast ! mamma. 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB. 27 

Mother. — Do not you think, Louisa, that 
we ought to be grateful to the Giver of all 
good, for the great gifts of hearing, and 
speech, with which he has endowed us, 
though he has in his wisdom seen fit to 
withhold them from so many others ? that 
he has permitted us to enjoy sounds, and 
listen to the voices of our friends ? 

And if we are grateful, should we not 
try to show it ? 

Louisa. — Yes, mamma ; but in what way 
can we show -our gratitude ? 

Mother. — There are many ways ; one of 
which I have already spoken of, viz, that 
of assisting with our money in giving the 
same instruction to all who are deaf and 
dumb, as was bestowed on the young per- 
sons we have been speaking of. Oh, Louisa, 
how much I wish that " every parent, who 
has been providentially preserved from the 
grievous calamity of seeing any member of 
his own family so afflicted, as to require the 
care of such an establishment as these poor 
children need, would present his thank- 
offering for this special mercy to the Su- 
preme Disposer of all events, in the form 
of a contribution to this Benevolent object ! 
How rapidly should we then see the Insti- 
tutions extending their blessings to all who 
need them." 



28 CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDUCATION 



TO MY JUVENILE READERS. 

My object in writing these two simple 
dialogues has been this ; — to give you in- 
formation respecting the poor Deaf Mutes ; 
and at the same time, if possible, to induce 
you to attempt doing something for them. 
I should be disappointed, if your interest 
were only to continue so long as you are 
reading this little book ; for I want to raise 
you into action, into doing something for 
these afflicted ones, these poor heathens, 
who are living close at your own doors. 
Endeavour with the consent and assistance 
of your parents, to form a Juvenile Society 
in the neighbourhood in which you reside. 
Try whether you cannot prevail on sdme of 
your friends to give you a penny or up- 
wards, weekly or monthly. You should 
also have a Juvenile Secretary, and a Trea- 
surer, to receive the money collected every 
quarter, and deposit it in the Savings* Bank, 
till the end of the year. What are you to 
do with it then, you will probably ask. 
Either send it to one of the Institutions ; or 
if you have enough for the purpose, pay 
for the education of some poor deaf and 
dumb child, who, if you do not take pity 
on it, would not gain admittance into an 



OF THE DEAF AND DUMB, 29 

Asylum, and as I said before, would live 
and die in ignorance. There were last year 
in the Dublin Institution, seventy-three 
children — placed there since the year 1827 
—the expense of whose education, board, 
&c. are defrayed by collections made by 
children ! girls as well as boys, viz. by the 
Irish Juvenile Deaf and Dumb Society. 

If, then, the exertions children can make, 
are attended with so good success in Ire- 
land, — poor distressed, dark Ireland, let us 
see what can be done by the youth of rich 
flourishing England. May the time come, 
when we shall have the joy of making (in 
one sense) all who are Deaf to hear, and 
all who are Dumb to speak ! 

A Member of a 
Juvenile Deaf and Dumb Society. 




Tbrary^ 



4 I7DET 00t 



Henry Mozley and Sons, Printers, Derby. 



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